The Minister of Trade (Mendag) Zulkifli Hasan departed for Saudi Arabia to lead a delegation of Indonesian trade missions to increase trade between the two countries. The trade mission to Saudi Arabia is scheduled to take place on 21-23 January 2023. One of the agendas is to open modern retail to market the products of Indonesian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). "In this trade mission, we are reviewing opportunities to open modern Indonesian retailers in Medina, Mecca and Jeddah by Indonesian business people. With the presence of modern outlets in Saudi Arabia, it will be easier for SMEs to market their products. Of course this will also boost national export performance," Zulkifli said in a written statement in Jakarta, Saturday.
According to Zulkifli, visits by Indonesian citizens (WNI) to Saudi Arabia have continued to increase. At present, there are around two million Indonesian citizens visiting Saudi Arabia and it is estimated that in the next few years it will increase to five million people.
"This is a very large market that must be utilized optimally. Therefore, we are continuously working to improve trade relations," he said.
The trade mission to Saudi Arabia is one part of the program to develop new markets, especially non-traditional export markets. This is a follow-up to the mission to come to non-traditional markets previously carried out in the United Arab Emirates and India.
"After Saudi Arabia, there will also be trade missions to Eastern Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, and Latin America. If we want to become a developed country by 2045, we must dominate parts of the world. If we don't enter now, of course we will be too late," said Zulkifli .
In addition to efforts to explore the opening of modern retail outlets, Zulkifli is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Majid Bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, a meeting with the Saudi Arabian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), a meeting with the Saudi Arabian Food and Drug Authority (SFDA). , as well as a meeting with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC).
Zulkifli is also scheduled to open the Indonesia-Saudi Arabia business forum and explore trade agreements (business matching) attended by Indonesian and Saudi Arabian businessmen, as well as witness the signing of a cooperation agreement between Indonesian and Saudi Arabian businessmen in Riyadh.
A total of 24 business actors participated in the trade mission to Saudi Arabia. These business actors consist of the food and beverage product sector, body and skin care, charcoal, resin, and various other products.
Apart from business actors, the trade mission was also attended by business actor associations including the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Indonesian Creative Entrepreneurs Aspirations (APKI), and the Indonesian Entrepreneur Chamber (Keind).
In the January-November 2022 period, Indonesia's trade with Saudi Arabia was recorded at US$7 billion, up 45.42 percent from the same period the previous year which was recorded at
4.82 billion US dollars.
During this period, Indonesia's exports to Saudi Arabia were recorded at US$1.84 billion, with oil and gas exports amounting to US$200 thousand and the remainder being non-oil and gas exports.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's imports from Saudi Arabia were recorded at 5.17 billion US dollars, consisting of oil and gas imports of 4.33 billion US dollars and non-oil and gas imports of 842.30 million US dollars. Saudi Arabia is the 24th ranked export destination country for Indonesia.
Indonesia's main export products to Saudi Arabia include motor vehicles, palm oil and its derivatives, jewelry, paper products, and textile products. Meanwhile, Indonesia's main imports from Saudi Arabia include crude oil, gas fuel, petroleum, iron, and acyclic alcohol.